Are apples suitable for birds? Can cockatiels eat apples? What about the seeds? Let’s thresh out all your doubts in the article below.
For humans, apples have become synonymous with the best kind of fruit there is. After all, who doesn’t know – an apple a day keeps the doctor away!
Apples are that crunchy, sweet snack that can be a great addition to any diet.
But is it the same for birds? When you have a pet cockatiel at home, will they get as much benefit if you give them an apple to munch on?
In today’s article, let us tell you a little about birds and apples and whether you can add this fruit to your cockatiel’s diet.
Apple Nutritional Info: Is It Suitable For Birds?
Yes, apples can be a healthy food for birds, just like humans. Here is a bit of information about what nutrition is contained in apples.
1 cup of chopped apples (with the skin intact contains (I have only mentioned items of interest here):
- Calories 65.0 (272 KJ)
- Carbohydrates 17.3g
- Total Fat 0.2g
- Vitamin C 5.7mg (10% DV)
- Magnesium 6.3mg (2% DV)
- Manganese 0.0mg (2% DV)
- Potassium 134mg (4% DV)
- Copper 0.0mg (2% DV)
Nutrition For Birds
As mentioned above, this fruit is a good source of Vitamin C, Potassium, Copper, and Maganese – all of which help in the metabolism and immunity-building of a bird.
- Vitamin C: Important to build a bird’s immunity. It helps build antibodies and keeps your bird healthy.
- Potassium: Helps in the metabolism of the bird, in water retention, and prevents diseases like stroke and kidney stones.
- Maganese: Helps to keep a bird’s bones and beaks strong and also helps keep its feathers in shape.
- Copper: Helps form red blood cells and improves bone health.
So, it can be said that just as for you, your feathered friend can keep away from the vet by adding apples to their diet.
Can It Be Given To Cockatiels?
Most pet birds enjoy eating fruits, and apples are definitely one of them.
If you have brought home a baby cockatiel and trying to get them used to a varied diet with natural foods, apples can be a great addition.
Apples are totally safe for a cockatiel, and they will, infact, enjoy eating them.
With their balanced sugar content, high level of nutrients, and crunchy taste, apples can be a healthy snack in the balanced diet of birds.
As the most common variety of apples, red apples are safe and the go-to option for birds.
When you are feeding red apples to your birds, make it a point to wash them thoroughly and take out all the seeds and stems.
Once done, cut it into small, thick slices so your cockatiel can hold it and eat it.
Most birds enjoy munching on fruits, and they will eat better if you cut the apples up into small cubes.
Green apples can be a good choice of snack for cockatiels. Some birds prefer green apples over red, which are more crunchy.
It is safe to go for apple varieties that are softer and easily chewable, especially if you have a baby bird.
But it should not be a problem, as long as you cut the pieces into small cubes and slices when feeding them to the bride.
If you plan to include apples in your cockatiel’s diet as a juice, it is more than okay.
Just like humans, your birds may not always be in the mood for chewing fruits for a long time.
Therefore, you can juice a few slices of an apple to maintain the quantity and offer it to your birds.
Infact, some birds may like it better.
Yes, your cockatiel can easily eat and handle apple skin as part of their meal.
Since you are offering apples as a treat to the birds, the only thing you need to take care of is not to give them the seeds.
All other parts of the apple are safe and can be eaten by the bird as long as the quantity is monitored.
Dried apples are, again, safe for birds. They are a healthy snack and can be very useful to carry with you if you are traveling with your bird.
You can just put them in your luggage and feed your bird when it’s time to feed your pet bird.
This is one part of the apple that your birds should not eat under any circumstance.
It is important that you remove all the seeds of an apple before giving it to the bird.
Apple seeds have concentrated cyanide in them, which is highly toxic to both birds and humans.
When a small bird like a cockatiel ingests cyanide, it does not take too long to harm its body.
Apart from apples, many other fruit seeds can also be toxic or harmful to birds. Hence, always double checking before offering seeds to your bird.
How Much (And How Often) Should You Give Your Bird?
For an average-sized adult cockatiel, one slice of apple every two days is the suggested quantity.
Too much of any kind of food is not the best idea, and the amount of apples you are feeding your bird is certainly to be checked.
Apples have a high sugar content and can cause trouble with the blood glucose levels of the bird.
This should be offered to them as a snack after removing the seeds. For smaller birds, the quantity should be less, and you feed it to them once a week.
Are There Any Dangers To Giving Apples to Cockatiels?
There are no direct adverse effects of feeding your cockatiel apples.
One thing that you need to make sure of is that the birds are eating only the flesh and skin of the apple.
Make sure that you are removing the stems, seeds, and pits of the apple.
You also have to keep a check that your bird is not having digestive issues from apples or any other fruits.
Apple seeds contain traces of cyanide that is found around the stem and pit as well.
If your bird eats these parts of the apple over a long period of time in excess quantity, it could become toxic in its body.
Apart from this, you must wash out the fruit thoroughly so that there is no dirt or, in some cases, chemical traces left on the skin.
This becomes more important when you are feeding your bird store-bought apples.
Like humans, fussy eaters like cockatiels will have personal preferences about their food.
Some birds may enjoy eating apple skin, and others want the flesh.
It is your responsibility as a pet parent to take all precautions before offering them the food.
The only thing to remember is how much they are eating and whether they are having any kind of reaction to the fruits.
If you start by giving them tiny bits of the fruit in a reasonable quantity, your cockatiel should not have any problem eating apples.
Frequently Asked Questions
What fruits can cockatiels not eat?
Most fruits are safe for birds and can be offered once a week as a healthy snack.
However, when eating apples, plums, pears, and cherries – the pit and seed of the fruits should be removed as they can be dangerous.
What fruits are good for cockatiels?
Fruits like berries, papaya, and kiwi are some of the best options for cockatiels that they can eat alternately as part of a balanced diet.
They also enjoy eating citrus fruits like sweet oranges and lemons, but most birds do not enjoy the strong taste of these fruits.
What’s cockatiels favorite food?
Cockatiels enjoy a wide variety of food, but fresh fruit and vegetables are the two main types of food that cockatiels love.
They enjoy the crunchy taste, and most types of fruits or vegetables are safe for the birds to eat.
Their favorite type of food is an individual preference that needs to be understood as they grow up in a home.
Can cockatiels eat pineapple?
Yes. Pineapple is one of the safest fruits you are feeding your cockatiels.
All parts of this fruit can be offered to the bird, and its high content of fiber and potassium makes it a great addition to their diet.
If you observe your cockatiel when they are munching on fruits, you are likely to see them happy and excited.
This is because apples are one of their favorite fruits, and they would love them as a part of their meal.
The only thing you need to take care of is that they are not overeating and have a healthy diet plan.
Thank you for reading!